Carnival Corp. Names John Padgett as President of Princess Cruises

Carnival Corporation has named John Padgett as the new president of Princess Cruises. Since 2014, Padgett has served as chief experience officer and innovation officer for Carnival Corporation.

In his new role, he’ll oversee all performance and operational functions of Princess Cruises and its global fleet of 14 ships. "The opportunity to lead the iconic Princess brand and to help take the cruise content -- including hotel, food and beverage, entertainment, merchandise and destination experiences -- to new levels is an absolute honor,” Padgett says.

John Padgett, president of Princess Cruises
John Padgett is the new president of Princess Cruises. (Photo by Princess Cruises)

He’ll also retain leadership of Carnival Corporation's innovation unit. Padgett is best known to advisors and guests as a key player in developing and implementing Princess' MedallionClass experience, which is now on all Princess ships. That includes the Medallion wearable device and the OCEAN platform that enhances and personalizes the overall cruise experience. 

Reports to Swartz

Padgett will report directly to Jan Swartz, group president of Holland America Group, which includes the company's Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn and P&O Cruises Australia brands. She’s served as president of Princess Cruises since 2013.

"John is the mastermind behind our state-of-the-art OCEAN platform and was a key player in our fleet transformation, working closely with Princess team members in virtually every area of our operation to enable the MedallionClass experience for all our guests," says Swartz.

She continues: "John's vision, drive and performance, combined with his commitment to providing the best guest experience in the industry, have helped position Princess for success well into the future. We warmly welcome John to the role and look forward to his stewardship as we navigate this fast-changing, dynamic environment."

In his Carnival Corporation post, Padgett has been responsible for guest experience innovation, development, creation and operations integration. He’s also helped transform the approach to creating differentiated guest experiences based on personal interactions and tailored to the interests and preferences of individual guests.

Padgett was a headliner at the 2017 CES show, where he showcased the Princess Cruises’ technology innovation and the creation of an extensive patent portfolio. He and his team also created original TV and digital content programming showcasing the cruise experience for more than 900 million global viewers.

Prior to becoming chief experience and innovation officer for Carnival Corporation, Padgett worked for 18 years with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts where he spearheaded the invention, development and implementation of guest engagement innovations that include the MagicBand, FastPass+ and Disney's Magical Express, among others.

Padgett earned a master's degree in business administration and a bachelor's degree in finance from Virginia Tech. He holds more than two dozen patents and multiple innovation awards.

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